|Mariah Carey forces her dog under some mistletoe so she can snog him|
So I’m going home in a few days and I’m beginning to feel quite Christmassy! This seems to be the year that “feminism” has entered social media, I don’t know if its just the people I’m friends with on Facebook but every other link I see shared is about sexism and feminism and emancipation of the fairer sex. Even buzzfeed is at it. At the beginning of the year I wrote a bit about sexism in the Top 40. In these times of festive fun its very important not to forget that sexism is still a problem and so I thought I’d take an analytical look at some of our favourite Christmas songs, and ask the question we’ve all been dying to know the answer to… are Christmas songs sexist?
Is Mariah Carey, “All I want for Christmas is You?” sexist?
My favourite thing about a good Christmas song is it stops me from worrying about those popstars who don’t have careers anymore. Whenever I think of Mariah, I can smile and think, oh she’s going to be fine in her old age, because she sang (possibly) the best Christmas song there is. This festive classic reflects the classic princess/prince idea that we were all taught by Disney, basically, you’re going to be just fine as long as you find your Prince. In fact, your Prince is all you need to be happy! I don’t like that stupid stereotype that sets us all up for failure because klet’s be honest, ladies (and gentlemen!) no matter how great your partner is they can’t make you happy if you don’t know how to be happy already!! #PREACH! But I do like that Mariah focusses on festive love instead of festive consumerism.
Verdict: You just can’t criticise a song that uses sleigh bells with such reckless abandon,.
Is “Santa Baby” sexist?
Whereas Mariah is pining for some fireside loving, Marilyn, Kylie, Madonna and all those other wonderfully beautiful ladies have got something a bit more tangible on their minds. “Santa, I really want a nice gift this year, and I think I deserve it because I’ve spent the last 12 months not kissing people…”. Santa Baby really embraces the idea that women want material goods and that they will use their wiley, sexy ways to get them. If you don’t think this song is gendered, wel firstly you’re being a bit dumb, but secondly have a look at Buble’s version. Whereas the ladies want some kind of fur garment (“slip a sable under the tree”), some decorations from Tiffany’s and a ring, Buble wants a Rolex, some Canucks tickets and some decorations bought, quite inexplicably, from Mercedes… I’m not sure that makes the song a misogynist´s anthem but it is some strong proof that Michael Buble is a moron.
Verdict: It clearly plays on “Gold Digger” stereotypes, but it could arguably be ironic?
Is “It’s Cold Outside” sexist?
On the subject of Buble, here’s another song he’s
murdered recorded with Idina Menzel. But I will always remember the version by Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews because it has been forever forged in my brain as The Creepiest Song Ever. Cary Mattews’s voice sounds so young in the recording, coupled with her saying “my father will be pacing the floor…” makes you think she’s about 15. I think the creepy McCreepy highlight is when she says “Say, what’s in this drink…? I wish I could break this spell”. What IS in the drink, Tom!? What spell have you poisened her with!? She goes on, “The answer is no.” But thankfully he is not perturbed and keeps pressurising her to drink and smoke until finally agrees to stay.
Verdict: I don’t know if its cold outside but this song sends a freezing cold shiver down my spine.
Is East 17, “Stay Another Day”, sexist?
Christmas seems to be littered with needy men attempting to convince women to stay with them. East 17 choose to emotionally blackmail their loved one: “Baby if you have to go away, don’t think I can take the pain… don’t leave me alone like this”. Also, in a vaguely innappropriate gesture of affection, he says “I touch your face while you are sleeping”. I find this very offensive as first of all its an invasion of personal space while somebody is unconscious. Secondly it reflects this awful idea that women look good when they’re sleeping, which is cruel as some of us dribble when we’re sleeping and we can’t help it.
Verdict: I’m going to be honest, this may well be my favourite Christmas song so I refuse to criticise it.
Is Slade “Merry Christmas Everybody” sexist?
No, its not, its the best song ever written and should be played all year around.